RADAR 2015 | Q&A with Simon Mole and Peader Kirk

We caught up with Simon Mole and Peader Kirk whose brilliant road trip through austerity Britain, No More Worries, is making a pit-stop at RADAR from 12 – 14 November.

Can you tell us about your show in one sentence?

Peader: Two guys on the road looking for the perfect holiday moment as the rain and the cuts fall on Britain…

Simon: told through rap, poetry, and an electronic soundscape created live on stage…and some tai chi dance moves.

Peader: That was a long sentence.

Hugo Glendinning we brop

What questions lies at the heart of the show; what are you asking the audience?

Peader: Is getting away from it all just running away?

Simon: How far do you have to go to escape? Except that sounds like a movie tagline. Read it again but in that cheesey American movie trailer voice. What if the past is the only thing we can’t leave behind?

Jokes aside, at the heart of the show for us are the questions the process has made us ask about grief and bereavement and the many different ways we do or don’t manage to deal with or move through those things.

Tell us three things about yourself, one of them must be a lie.

Simon: I’ll let Peader roll with this one, his will be SO much more interesting than mine…

Peader: Ok, how about

  1. I played on a track that got to no.9 in the charts
  2. I had afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches with William Burroughs
  3. I was caught in the middle of a military coup in the Philippines

What sparked the original idea for this piece and how has it evolved?

Peader: It started with Simon coming up with a cool title. Which is the only thing that has stuck since the first scratch. At one point it was an epic tale of feuds between British gangsters.

Simon: It’s something to do with all of us feeling a bit too busy in the world and getting caught up in the idea of having a break, a complete break, of getting away from it all. I started writing about holidays and ended up getting totally fixated on road trips and road trip movies.

Peader: And music is vital of those of films, often in a way that tells the story in its right in some ways.

Simon: So we thought how about I do the words and he does the music

Peader: Which gave us a way to house two people on stage and still make the piece that we wanted. It’s an interplay between poetic spoken images and images conjured by sound. It’s a kind of internal cinema projected onto the audience’s imagination.

What excites you about being part of RADAR 2015?

Peader: Getting to see other people’s shows.

Simon: Radar is a new writing festival not a ‘spoken word artists in a separate little box over there because it’s not real theatre now is it?’ festival. Maybe this shouldn’t matter to us but it does.

Copyright Hugo Glendinning

Do you feel your work is inspired by, responding to or reacting against any work from wider culture (films, art, music, etc)?

Peader: The piece is in dialogue with the whole tradition of road trip movies from the 50s to the present.

Simon: And we watched a lot of them at one point in the process. Like Straight Story, Nebraska, Something Wild, and The Sure Thing. Not all perfect films, but what holds them together as a group (apart from the road vibes) is that they are all things of beauty in terms of story structure.

Peader: And we really became fans of how those story machines work and how we might build one.

What direction do you feel yourself moving in creatively, and what comes next for you as an artist?

Peader: Thinking the political through theatre since politicians have given up on doing that in politics.

Simon: I’m a dad now so probably poems for kids. Or about kids. Or both. I’d also like to write more for voices other than my own.

We’re compiling a RADAR playlist to play in the bar throughout the festival – we’ll be asking the audience and our Twitter followers to nominate songs that feel ‘on the pulse’, music (from any era) that they feel is under the radar and music that inspires them. What songs would you add to it and why?

Perfect driving song:

BJ made the soundtrack for us and this is one of his best tracks:

It makes you smile and wakes you up:

Because it is so out there: